A few thoughts for sdvg - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • ERSB
    • 22.11.10 | 11:50 (IST)

    I appreciate your open and honest answer and though I didn't know him, your description of your father and in fact your response to the legacy of Nazi Germany and the shoah indicate that your dad was, to borrow a phrase used in German and Yiddish, a mensch. However, as your dad was born in '25, he would have been all of 8 when Hitler (yimchak shmo) came to power in '33 and grew up under the Nazis propoganda. Was your father a member of the Hitler youth (it had 5 million members even BEFORE membership became mandatory for "aryan" children in '36). I appreciate the fact that your father was a conscript and served in the Wermacht and not the SS but the Wermacht wasn't an innocent organization, it was also involved in large scale attrocities and war crimes (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crimes_of_the_Wehrmacht). Granted, the Wermacht was massive and the likelihood that your father participated in crimes is small, but even that would be more luck than anything else since I suspect that most of the Wemacht soldiers commiting attoricites were simply "following orders", do you beleive your father would have refused?. I guess what I'm saying is this; while it's not right to blame today's Germans and Germany for the sins of the shoah, it's also wrong to place the blame solely on Hitler and the SS. Hitler was able to come to power and implement his anti-semetic program in Germany because of millenia old history of Jew hatred which was prevelant in large segments (though not all) of the German populace. After the Nazis abolished all its political allies, the last potential organized moral resistance to Hitler's anti-semitic policies should have come from the Christian clergy (Protestant and Catholic), but they were largely silent. Some might say, what influence could the Church have, but the truth is they were very influential, the Catholic leadership was instrumental in getting the Nazis to stop murdering Germans with developmental problems or mental illnes, why didn't they make the same efforts on behalf of the Jews?

    from the article: Poll: Israeli Jews still don't forgive Germany for the Holocaust
    First published 06:05 22.11.10 | Last updated 06:05 22.11.10
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